In The Travel Issue, Emirates Woman speaks to two inspiring Emirati women – Nayla Albaloushi and Nouf Omar – who have dared to step outside their comfort zones to scale to incredible heights.

Nayla Albaloushi was the first and only Emirati woman to summit Mount Everest in 2022. While that itself is already a monumental feat, she’s only getting started and Nayla’s passion to explore remains just as strong.


“January 2022, I then did research and found a company. I spoke with them, and we started to arrange for the adventure.”


“I honestly can’t describe my feelings, it is like shocked, amazed, proud yet humble and grateful for Allah who gave me a patient mind and strength to make it to the top of the world and get the chance to experience the feeling from the highest peak on earth, make history and achieve a new record as an Emirati woman.

“Alhamdullah No, my only goal was to reach the summit, it was the reason I left home and family from the beginning, right? I took one small step after another, distracting my mind by the names of Allah. I also got by reading, I had the Qur’an and a colouring book, and of course listening to the stories and adventures of other climbers.”


“To His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, my first supporter, my family, and each and every woman who has a dream and works hard on it to make it come true.

“Since I was young, I have always seen my mother as strong, patient and she has always guided me towards what I later realized was the right thing .”

“There are so many things to explore other than mountains, and I would love to try something new.”

In 2022, Nouf Omar was named the youngest female Emirati pilot at age 22. Fast-forward one year, being in the aviation space is where Nouf finds an equilibrium of joy, peace, and freedom.


“I was introduced to the aviation world through one of my father’s relatives, Captain Samir, hearing his stories made me want to become like him and have that dynamic lifestyle. I started researching about how I could study to become a pilot and studied my options.”


“Putting on my pilot’s uniform, wearing that hat, and flying the UAE’s flag around the skies of the world is an honour, a responsibility, and a vital role to me as an Emirati woman and a pilot. I am not only representing myself, but I am also the image of the Emirati woman, Emirates Airlines, and the UAE.

“Don’t give up no matter how hard it gets because the view from the flight deck is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.”


“It was very helpful to ask female pilots about their experience in the field and to learn more about the job. Pilot Salma Alblooshi was the first Emirati female pilot in Etihad, and I got a chance to speak to her before joining the programme. She cleared my mind on a few concerning points but mainly it helped me consider the consequences and sacrifices that were awaiting me.”

“I share my stories not because I want everyone to become a pilot but because I want them to dare to dream big and to know that it is possible to become whatever they want as long as there is will, determination, and hard work.”


“The supporting environment that I grew up in is the primary attribution. I had the support I needed as a young girl from my family, my friends, my school, and of course the UAE. They all played a role in pushing me to achieve what seemed impossible to dream about. My family encouraged me to enter the aviation industry. My friends are proud of my achievements. My school educated me to be qualified to be a pilot and supported me when needed. The UAE gave me the opportunity to achieve my dream by providing programmes for Emiratis to become pilots.”

“I always had it in me since I was a little kid. I enjoyed trying different sports, exploring, and doing new things. I like to spend my time doing things I love and that gets me excited like food, places, and sports. I would like to explore more of this vast world but mostly centered on food and unique experiences.”

July/August’s – The Travel Issue – Indulge Your Wanderlust  – Download Now 

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